Making a living whilst doing what ones loves to do, and doing it as a freelancer is great— most of the time.
Since after highschool, I have been trying to make a living as an artist. At first, as an illustrator and graphic designer; but I have since moved on to the relatively more complex field of software development and multimedia. Life has been exciting because, as many in my field would know, no two projects are the same and every deal can an adventure.
But lately, I have realised that working from home and being unbound by the typical eight-to-five definition of a "day's work" can be quite a health hazard. Since 2006, when I left my last job to become an independent, I have had this routine of waking up, booting up, eating, working, snacking, working some more, then going back to bed. At first, it was a joy because the nature of my work is such that in every cycle, I get instant results; unlike, say, that of a civil engineer's or a market researcher's, who can only see the results of her toil after so many days or weeks. However, because of the fast pace in which I get results, I have tended to forget that throwing in a little variety to one's routine is also a good thing.
I'm not normal. I don't have weekends. When I was still in school, understanably, I looked forward to Fridays and rued Monday mornings. These days, every day is just another cycle of waking up, booting up, eating, working, snacking, working some more, then going back to bed.
I'm not normal. I no longer have a natural sense of time. Before, just as with many others, I hated the early-morning and late-afternoon rush hour; I tended to feel unexplainably sleepy around three in the afternoon, and suddenly energised at around ten-to-five. These days, waking up at eight in the evening or at six-thirty in the morning makes very little difference— unless I have an appointment with normal people. These days, I would even stay up and do my thing for thirty-six hours straight; taking a break only to have a smoke and a shower.
In the long term, I'm still not normal. I don't have holidays. It's been a while since I truly felt the "Christmas Spirit"— that thing that makes the hair at the back of my neck stand when I hear the canned church bells play at three-thirty in the morning to tell folk that it's time to wake up for Simbang Gabi. It's been a while since I felt excited about Holy Week— not because I have a thing for penitence but because it was a time when I get to take a long bus ride to the province and just have a quiet occasion with relatives.
Thank goodness that a few months ago, I got a project that requires me to leavethe house and to spend some man hours in an office (because I need to be in the client's LAN to do stuff). More thanks to goodness still because this month, my friends and I have been jamming every Saturday, in preparation for a gig in March. These things, indeed, break the monotony that I have been under for quite some time.
However, these incidentals will come to an end soon and I'll be forced to go back to my vicious cycle. Even now that my work in that project is coming to an end, I am already relapsing. Perhaps I need to get myself a bundy clock and install it in my room? That would be awesome— it's not going to make me any more normal, though...